Project Checkmate

The story about Project checkmate, a unique en devour to teach chess to the underprivileged and blind children in New Delhi, India.

The Womenz team had an opportunity to interact with Ms. Devanshi Rathi, Chess Player & member, Project Checkmate, India and here’s what she shared with us

I started Project Checkmate in April 2016. Having played the game for quite some time now, I wanted to give back to it in some way. So, I started teaching chess to underprivileged students in an NGO in New Delhi. I had no idea that the project would come as far as it has currently. I just kept on going with the flow to inspire more children to take up the game. I organised various events under this project. I trained the students on how to play the game, its history, and the current happenings in the world of chess.

I also played a simultaneous with the 15 students learning under this project. They were so motivated and eager to learn that I tried my level best to keep on doing more things for them. I also took them for the Delhi State Open Rapid Tournament in May 2016, where they got an opportunity to compete against different kinds of strong players. I organised the first NGO tournament for them with the latest FIDE rules. Donations and fund raising were also a part of this project and I managed to get lots of books, bags, board games, water bottles, and stationery. Hence, I set up a chess library and a board games club at the NGO. I also set up an online training program for these children, which made them play with the computer and improve their understanding. The children were also given chess kits, which I somehow managed to create with my savings from tournament victories. The kit comprised of a chess board along with the pieces, a note-book, a pen, and a tips sheet, authored by me.

In October 2016, I took a huge step in the development of the project. I expanded the project to the National Association of the Blind, RK Puram, New Delhi. Organising a fund raising event, I managed to raise funds for the students' travel to the 1st National Schools chess championship for the Blind in Maharashtra. The students won many medals in this event. I trained them through Skype and face-to-face interactions. I also gave them a braille version of my book called 'Chess Notes', which they used effectively for their improvement. I also set up an online library and made them a plan to use for their training.

I also brought an AGM for giving a simultaneous to the students. The students also participated in various local and national tournaments throughout the rest of the year and the early parts of 2017. They attended the GM coaching camp with Jacob Aagaard and met GM Abhijeet Gupta. 

With so many new developments, I hope to take this project to much greater heights in the future, and hope that you too could support me for this cause.

We The Womenz team thank her for her sharing her story with us. We are sure that her story will certainly inspire our readers

Devanshi can be reached at @projectcheckmate64

First Published: 30-Apr-2017- 01:59